Over 1,400 Interviews
The late Stephen E. Ambrose used over 1,400 interviews for his history of the D-Day invasion.
This “oral history” approach brings the reader into the heart of the battle through eye-witness testimony. The tales of the front line infantryman sweeps the reader up into their personal histories.
Individual and Small Unit Stories
Told from the point of view of the soldier and small unit level, Ambrose often failed to describe larger unit actions or explained how the individual actions fit into the total picture. Canadian and British beachheads receive little coverage. Historical controversies are often given minimal coverage. These are simply good stories of many personal experiences
The book is not a textbook for lessons on strategic decision-making or to answer big-picture questions. Ambrose touches on these larger issues in a general focus, but that is not his focus.
The courage of Small Unit Leaders
This is a book about the American achievement in Normandy. The individual courage and independence of the American small unit leaders is the big story of this book.
Ambrose is right on target as he tells the story of their braveness and toughness. I originally read and reviewed the book in 1999.
General Albert C. Wedemeyer: America’s Unsung Strategist in World War II by John McLaughlin. Be there no doubt, the author is a fan of General Albert C. Wedemeyer. The book is a statement of admiration for the general. This is not bad. I am very knowledgeable in military history as a historian by education and a former US Army officer. This book made me aware of a large gap in my knowledge. Yes, I had heard of General Wedemeyer. I was aware of his leadership in China. No, I had no idea he was the architect and strategist of the “Victory Program” which conceived the plans for US mobilization and included the D-Day invasion.
In the late 1930s he was an exchange student at the German Kriegsakademia, the Nazis’ equivalent of Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff School. Because of this,he recognized the revolutionary tactics of Blitzkrieg once they were unleashed, and he knew how to respond.
The book is researched with the skill of a scholar and told in a straight forward way that is very engaging. We learn of a man who held key roles of strategizing on both the European and Asian fronts.
General Wedemeyer was an amazing intellect, one of the brightest minds the US has ever had. Dr. John McLaughlin did a great job of giving us the facts, telling the story, and leaving a tribute to General Albert C. Wedemeyer who was America’s Unsung Strategist in World War II. The book is very good. It has lessons for military leaders, politicians, and strategic strategist.